Ugly Garden: Enter Fall
Ugly Garden, its been a while. We’ve talked about some of your more noteworthy residents (Tomatoes and Potatoes), and we’ve addressed some of our organizational strategies, but Ugly Garden, the experiment, you’ve been neglected. As a topic. Not as an actual food producing garden demanding so much of my time. In that way, we are on track.
Right on queue. Pumpkins and a little powdery mildew. Sugar pumpkins. For pies and breads and soups and Fall. The dramatic conclusion of all things U.G. The dramatic conclusion that wasn’t, I should say. September has been, by far, the most productive month in our short lived history together.
Tomatoes continue to roll in. In waves. Tsunamis. Roast and freeze and ripen on the counter and caprese salad and on every sandwich, wrap, salad and side dish you can possibly think of. Tomatoes. Brings a whole new meaning to this eating seasonally business. I am doubting I will have much interest in tomatoes from Mexico or anywhere else once these finally, blessedly give it up. Even The Ladies are showing a decided lack of interest in tomato scraps. I had thoughts of green tomato chutney. Perhaps, I’ll fry some instead, and call well enough alone. Because I need another project like I need…
What don’t I need? Another dog?
As the summer crops hang on to life with a surprising white knuckled fury, this cooler weather is finally getting me some thing I’ve longed for: Greens. Such a humble wish. Spinach and Chard, perhaps a little kale. To be eaten with my eggs. Or braised as my most favorite side. That’s all I ask. Yet, you’ve alluded me. Again and again. For so long. My bed o’spinach there (with a little chard) is a triumph. A combination of seedlings transplanted from the accursed lettuce table, direct sown seeds, and a few purchased starts (just in case). A shotgun approach. Because, what do I gotta do to get some damn spinach? Apparently that. Now I happily eat my very own leafy greens at least once a day. I try not to fall over patting myself on the back.
More fall crops. Chard, (once I got rolling with the greens, I perhaps over did it) Kale, (what did I just say?) Brussel Sprouts, leeks, and a few beats hidden in there. A mixed bed, with a healthy start, ready for the resurrection of my visqueen hoop houses any day now. As aesthetic I am looking forward to about as much the row of dog crates in my house.
And broccoli and cauliflower going strong in my free boxes. I am so much farther ahead on this whole Four Season Harvest thing than I was last year. I’ve got a whole parsnip jungle. Ready right on time for the first frost so we can commence eating. Almost like I planned it.
That’s what makes all this anti-climactic. It’s not over. Projects continue. The visqueen will go up, whether I like it or not. Garlic is on its way. If all goes well, they’ll be cabbage for January, pak choy right now, and those tomatoes will eventually die. I’m spreading another round of goat poop, and seriously considering bees for 2013. What started as an experiment is quickly becoming a way of life. Without end. Just renewal. And lots of yummy vegetables.